Where to start when building your LinkedIn profile

The career development platform doesn’t have to be intimidating for students

How to build a profile

LinkedIn, the mystifying social media platform for adults, can be overwhelming for university students.

But for those who aspire to professionally upskill themselves, it can be a useful tool for networking, resume-building, and getting an idea of what path you need to take.

Here’s a university-friendly guide on where to get started.


To start off your profile, you’ll need a headshot with good lighting and a professional vibe. I’d recommend getting a friend to take a few of you in Mitchell Hall—it does the trick every time.

Your headline should reflect you as an individual through a professional lens and should always be created with the intention of engaging with potential employers.

The summary is where things get interesting. It should tell a story about your passions and interests. You can delve into what inspires you about the field you want to go into and what you bring to the table.

I know these can be intimidating topics. I would encourage you to look at previous school projects, summer jobs, or extracurricular work that’s shaped your skills in a positive light and run with it.

The final step is selecting the “Open to Work” option when editing your profile. Showing recruiters you’re actively searching for jobs is a great way to get yourself out there and on companies’ radars.


As an individual with dreams of working in the media industry, the non-linear career path is anxiety-inducing. Learning how to use LinkedIn to my advantage has given me much-needed insight and confidence.

When I went home last winter break, I was faced with a stream of comments about the risks of pursuing journalism by those who paraded STEM careers as the utmost accomplishment.

Mostly motivated by anxiety about what my future would look like, I took their criticism and reached out to Queen’s alumni who worked in positions that excited me for companies that inspired me.

They were happy to speak with me and I was able to gain invaluable insight on what my potential next steps could be to break into the industry.

Cold messaging can be intimidating and awkward, but it doesn’t have to be.

Being respectful and showing your passion for the industry goes a long way. Looking at company profiles in your desired field is a great place to start. The Queen’s alumni network also has an abundance of resources and eager alumni who are interested in providing current students with guidance to navigate the post-graduate lifestyle.

Job searching

Summer is looming over us all. While that comes with relief from schoolwork, the flipside is finding a job that suits what you want to do. The LinkedIn job page has an abundance of postings and can open your eyes to opportunities that haven’t crossed your mind.

The process of resume-building and cover letter-writing is a tedious task, but it’s good to get in the habit so when graduation comes, you have an idea of what employers are looking for.

Mental health

LinkedIn, like all social media platforms, gives you a hyper-awareness of the professional lives of others.

There have been times where the incredible yet daunting success that appears on my timeline makes me feel like I’m not doing enough, working hard enough, or am talented enough. It’s important to check in with yourself and take a step back when you need to—your health and happiness come before any career.


career, LinkedIn, Networking

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